Generating Good Agile Requirements
The productivity of an Agile team can be multiplied by improving on just one major area: agile requirements.
Nothing clogs up a sports car’s finely tuned engine like the wrong type of fuel. And nothing blocks an Agile team like requirements that are malformed.
Generally speaking, it’s relatively straight forward to get a technical delivery team to move to a reasonably respectable form of Agile.
However, to get good requirements flowing into the team is much more difficult and often this is where many organisations fail when adopting Agile. Hence, when embarking upon an Agile transformation, the first area to tackle has to be the business side of things.
The key is to create an appetite for change within the business. It is crucial that the business demands Agile from IT, and not the other way around. Too often, the business feels it is having to change to suit IT, when in fact, the Agile Manifesto is geared to benefit the business.
Once the business realise the benefits they ought to be expecting from an Agile-enabled IT team, that is the first major accomplishment.
Visualise the Requirements
The first thing to do is to produce a User Journey using a charting application that captures the key high-level steps through the application.
Then we can start involving UX to produce wireframes of the screens.
Generate Agile Requirements
The next most important step is to coach the business in how to write requirements in a manner that can be easily consumed by IT. This benefits the business just as much as IT. The process of generating good Agile requirements should help the business to better uncover how the system they want should actually behave.
It’s important to get the right people in the room when creating the Epics, User Stories and Acceptance Criteria. We need a blend of people from business and IT to collaborate in producing the requirements.